In the last two months, I’ve traveled to Arkansas, Michigan, and West Virginia to attend the Wakarusa, Electric Forest, and All Good festivals respectively. I’m a lucky girl, and I know that. But I didn’t just randomly decide to go to all these festivals just for the sake of going. I have a greater purpose to my summer escapades, and that purpose is to experience all that the Midwest festival circuit has to offer, to distinguish the differences between the vast choices that exist, and to share my knowledge with anyone who cares to read it.
Wakarusa’s appeal was, in a word, the lineup. Each year, one festival sticks out as having the best, most diverse, and most unique musical offering. Wakarusa undoubtedly received this distinction in 2011, be it from NPR’s Exclusivity Rating or my own personal confirmation that Wakarusa had something for everyone- both in the opportunity to see old favorites and in musical discovery. Thanks to Wakarusa, I’m now a fan of Mumford and Sons, Minus The Bear, TOKiMONSTA, Tyrannosaurus Chicken, Dirtfoot, and Scythian. I also met the womp-loving Grassroots California Collective, discovered the swampy, back-country Mudstomp Record label, and experienced my first (but hopefully not last) Chompdown.
WHY I WENT TO WAKARUSA: Musical diversity and to see as many of their 100+ bands/DJs as possible.
I’m pretty sure the look on my face walking through The Electric Forest for the first time had to have been a hybrid of the proverbial “child in a candystore” mixed with “deer in the headlights”. The music was great at The Electric Forest (Big Gigantic’s set was my favorite, followed closely by Skrillex), but the real attraction was, indeed, the forest itself and the spectacular sights and sounds that lie within. The captivating mystique of the event can’t be captured with words or photos- only experienced in real life. And if you went yourself, you know what I’m talking about.
WHY I WENT TO THE ELECTRIC FOREST: To rage with my people at a festival centralized in electronic music. And for the trippy-ass woods.
All Good won my heart last year in an inexplicable way. It feels like home on Marvin’s Mountaintop in West Virginia. The scenery is unparalleled by any other that I’ve witnessed and the no-overlapping sets structure is really the bees knees. Saving energy by not hiking from stage to stage makes for a collectively relaxing and enjoyable time for everyone. The number of performing artists is smaller (due to no over-lapping sets) and the preferred genre is jam- although they do spice it up at night with a few womp-wobbles.
WHY I WENT TO ALL GOOD: Because I knew from the minute our car hit the highway and headed home last year that I wanted to go back in 2011. BONUS: John Butler Trio.
But today is Mojostock. And while All Good does feel warm and welcoming like home, Mojostock IS home. Right now, I’m looking forward to all of the following things about this weekend’s Mojostock:
• No travel fatigue
• The 30-second hike to get from the jam stage to the EDM tent
• The 45-second hike to get to my tent from the stages
• Familiar faces EVERYWHERE
• Bands performing that I know personally and have supported for years
• Seeing friends who I haven’t seen since last year’s Mojostock
• Safely partying/camping with a very large percentage of the Indianapolis music community
• Safely partying/camping with Indy Mojo veterans who’ve been there to watch Mojostock grow over the last three years
• Making new friends from Indianapolis
• The affordable weekend ticket
• No-hassle security
• For the first time ever, TWO days of Mojostock
• Dubstep phenomenon Cyberoptics
What it really boils down to is local people and local artists. No other camping and music festival exists like this in Indianapolis. Mojostock takes all the things we love about festivals (great music, tons of dancing, limitless partying, and camping) and adds a special local flavor that can’t be offered anywhere else.
It’s like a backyard get together with 800 of your closest friends.
Watch my blog and twitter timeline for Mojostock updates throughout the weekend. See you in a few short hours at Sleepybear!